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Rev Saude Publica. 2003 Feb;37(1):1-7.

[Prevalence and risk factors for smoking among adolescents].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brasil.



Tobacco smoking is one of the main causes of preventable disease and premature disability. The study was aimed at measuring smoking prevalence and related risk factors among adolescents.


A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out in a representative sample of 1,187 adolescents aged 10 to 19 years living in the urban area of Pelotas, southern Brazil. All adolescents were interviewed separately using a confidential coded questionnaire. Kaplan-Meier test was performed for survival curve analysis.


The overall smoking prevalence rate in the sample was 12.1% (95% CI 10.3%-14%). Boys and girls had similar prevalence rates. The following were the risk factors for smoking found in the multivariate logistic regression analysis: older age (OR=28.7; 95% CI 11.5-71.4), older smoking siblings (OR=2.4; 95% CI 1.5-3.8), three or more smoking friends (OR=17.5; 95% CI 8.8-34.8) and low schooling (OR=3.5; 95% CI 1.5-8.0).


The prevalence of smoking among adolescents in the city of Pelotas was high. Campaigns against tobacco use should be aimed at the community and families, targeting adolescents. The government must adopt legal actions in order to prevent adolescents to have access to to smoking.

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